Before anyone reads, here’s a quick reminder - no matter what point you’re at in your life, you are an amazing person. No matter what your circumstances and human shell look like at the moment, this does not define who you are as a person. What you look like does not make you any more or less of a person. However, I’m all about becoming the best possible version of yourself and what brings this to life is the actions you take and mindful thinking . When trying to lose weight there are a lot of emotional barriers that we need to fix first . I am so passionate about health and fitness but to do it effectively you have to realise that it all starts with your mental health and strength. One thing I will always live by when making diet and fitness choices is that what I choose to try and experiment with is not just benefiting the size of me or how I look but it’s conditioning me as a whole. In other words, it’s got to be giving me energy, satisfaction , drive, excitement and most of all its got to be fun . This is my journey but I think everyone has their own journeys so just read with a relaxed belief and take the bits that suit you. Personally it’s not a one size fits all but I do think it’s great to get ideas and inspiration from others and then mould them into your life in a way that suits you.
I get so many questions about how I lost three stone and how I have maintained my weight since. My honest answer is that I’ve chosen to by changing myself through a complete transformation of my mind-set. It has been a massive journey for me that is still growing not just in my health and fitness but every aspect of my life today . The sheer joy and happiness I honestly feel every day makes me to want to spread to as many people as possible. Anyone who’s wanting to change something that’s holding them back in life or wanting to achieve something they feels out of reach this is how I first started to change my mind-set. I believe this is key to doing anything and a must with your health and fitness. I feel like I’ve lived practiced and still learning more everyday about it . Your life is a gift and it’s a disservice to this world to not grow yourself to your best possible version of you.
Not just in losing weight and looking and feeling good but becoming the person you want and deserve to be. This is how I changed my mind set I hope it helps someone the same way it helped me and even if fitness and health is not something you are interested in you can apply this method and ways of living to anything in life. The key is finding your happiness and growing with it forever so I’ll get started. ( before I do what I normally do and talk about 300000 subjects in one haha here goes ... )
Not to get into too much depth of how I had a more negative mind-set in the past. (because I’m just not about that life anymore). But to give you an idea of my past, I was overweight, stuffing my face, lying to myself all the time about how much I was comfort eating. I would sit and feel sorry for myself for being big forgetting that it was actually me causing it. I would live in constant struggle and disbelief with my relationship with food. I tried 100’s of “diets” not eating enough and then having massive binges and drinking everything insight at the weekend (Note to self the drinking is still a work in progress but one step and a time right ?). The main problem I faced was balance. I did go to the gym on average 4 times per week and ate very healthy alongside that. However I would then have a “cheat day” once a week where once ( no lie) I actually had McDonald’s, KFC , Wagamma’s a pack of biscuits, crisps and cheesecake (all of which I would not consume now as I’m actually vegan). To add to those large portions I probably ate my friends leftovers too (Whoops). Another bad habit of mine would be that I would eat my dinner and then go on to finish my dad’s leftovers, which he would have saved for his Lunch. (just to confirm we now have a much better Father – Daughter relationship since I haven’t been stealing his food) I would also snack constantly every night thinking it was ok because the food I eating was typically seen as healthy looking back I was massively emotionally eating . So I got myself in this rut where I was lying to myself and being a victim of situations that I was deciding for myself.
Things all changed for me, two years ago, when I went on holiday to Mexico with my two Friends, both of which were tiny, especially compared to me at the time . Being on holiday with them was a massive shock to me and it was the first time I had the realisation of how I looked and how unhappy I was with myself. It was a massive reality check for me (which I’m so grateful for now). These feelings pushed me to wanting to make a change. So, on all the days when I felt so self-conscious and anxious about my body, I said to myself once I was home it’s on! I’m going to change my life after this holiday. I even made up a little alter ego called ‘Fatima’ and every time I ate I would just say well it’s not me it’s ‘fats 😂’ for some reason this massively helped my mental attitude towards how I was feeling . It took away the guilt I felt towards food in the moment when I was away and didn’t want to be thinking and stressing about diets. so it meant I could get on with the holiday and just enjoy myself whilst I was away with the knowledge that I was going to do something when I was back. Thanks for that ‘Fatima’, I still love you loads. Side note/top tip when time gets tough I always see the issue as a little funny character or something it always makes the issue seem a lot easier to deal with - but to be honest I’m not sure if I’m that normal..!
When I returned home from holiday, I felt so self-conscious and ugly. I sat in my room and had a little word with myself that when something like this…
‘Girl, you can even accept that your this size and be happy about it and embrace it because everyone should feel confident with who they are, or you can do something about it and chose health and fitness as part of a permanent factor in your life no matter how much you have to try cause you aren’t feeling like this forever so babes change your life and live and breathe health and fitness’. So I chose the latter option, to keep trying. By choosing this option, the penny dropped and made me realise that I did want this to become a priority in my life I just didn’t have the confidence and ambition to follow through before . But now I had a different kind of hunger, this time I was hungry for change, not loads of processed food.
I initially started by deciding that I was not going to be making any excuses for myself I had to accept and take responsibility for where I was at this point in my life. I would no longer blame my work schedule, friends, metabolism , will power, lack of knowledge or anything else for that matter. Now it was time to make my own choices and I was determined to put my all into it . I decided I’d never weigh myself as it never helped me at all and my weight didn’t matter anyway because I had already committed to the change so I knew I’d do it no matter how long it took. Not weighing myself massively helped me as it made me make my health and fitness lifestyle enjoyable Rather than feel like a military strict operation I just relied on how I felt within myself (as a bonus it helped with my mental attitude too!)
My second step was to list my bad habits, which I can tell you now is not a fun task but a very beneficial one. Once my list was complete I would then aim to change them one by one - which just to point out there was so many that’s a whole different blog post for the future. I did not put any time pressure on myself I was changing my life for good so that did not matter to me at the time. Once I realised my bad habits I dealt with the easy ones first. I saw them like a puzzle, put ones that you can see go together first and then as you keep adding the pieces together the ones that you once had no clue about now fall into place. To this day, I still continue to do this - as who wants bad habits in their life? Not me. Whilst dealing with my list of bad habits, I would replace each one with a good habit. This is where my personal trainer, Liza, comes in. As I run my own business, I knew my schedule was crazy so the only option to go to the gym would be to get up early. I typically work 9-9 so to get myself to encourage myself I booked a PT session at 6am 2x per week. I knew once it was booked I couldn’t let her down especially as I run a business myself so I know how it feels Client’s not showing up . I hated it at first and felt so sorry for myself as I was making all these changes but just not seeing the results I wanted but I then started changing the words I was feeding my brain e.g. instead of oh poor me nothing’s working I’d say “oh hey girl you better up your game can’t wait to push myself more” .
Once I got into the routine of getting up early I then started going to the gym in my garden(basically the shed) and watching workout videos in the Morning whilst working out, which has started to become a really enjoyable experience which is probably when it changed for me. As now I was really starting to enjoy my new lifestyle, rather just for vanity. This brings me on to my next little fitness experiment. Making this an enjoyable lifestyle I lived by the motto that I will only eat food that tastes good (still healthy) and when it comes to exercises I enjoyed I would try everything including: boxing videos , running , HIIT , weightlifting. Each morning when I woke up I would choose the exercise that I felt like doing, loving it with no resistance or bad feelings towards actions I was taking. Before each workout I would play my favourite music and just have a little sing and dance before getting focused and started on the workout. I remember my mum used to look at me from the kitchen and say I looked like a mad women dancing and singing by myself at 6am but honestly the key to happiness is not taking anything too serious. I genuinely started to just be crazy and enjoy this part of my morning as much as I physically could once I realised this it got became more enjoyable every time. The gym became a hobby rather than a chore which is a game changer. With anything in life I try and make it fun now, even the boring stuff. Being all fun and happy will mean different things to different people but for me I just recommend taking the seriousness out of certain situations because really the whole reason we want to get on it with this lifestyle in the first place is to be happy anyway so you may as well enjoy the journey as it on goes.
One of the biggest changes I chose to make was the way I spoke to myself whilst I was losing weight. For me, I think it’s too accepted nowadays how negatively people talk to and about themselves and it’s so harming. What you think, you do become . I would say such discouraging things to myself “you’re too lazy to do that run” “people will look at me at the gym, it will be embarrassing “ “people are probably really confused that I look like this but always talk about being healthy” I would say stuff like this constantly just feeding the negative thoughts more which will never benefit anyone! I’m not saying you should lie to yourself and say things you genuinely don’t even believe about yourself but what worked for me was gradually changing I like to call it “upgrading” my thoughts to better ones that I actually believed so for example at the beginning of this journey I may have thought “you look hideous in that outfit” and changed to “if beauty had a twin it would be me”. As for how I was feeling in that moment, the statement wasn’t relatable and so would have probably made me feel worse. This would have highlighted what I wanted to be but felt couldn’t so, instead of making drastic changes to my thoughts, instead I’d slowly change them to better feeling thoughts like “ok I don’t look how I want right now but I’ve recognised it now so I can take the steps for doing it” then just keep changing the thought each time to and even better one so once I thought that I’d then be like “I’m actually doing well for taking action” then the next might have been “I’m so excited to try that new workout” to “aw well done you’ve stuck to plans” basically factual things that are true to you personally and make you feel good that are building you up to be living and seeing the true legend you really are. I see this little thing as a game I play with myself it wasn’t a one day thing I just started doing it and every day my thoughts changed for the better and I started to feel so much more confident and capable of reaching my goals therefore making it so much easier to follow through with my new rituals and habits that I’d started to develop. It’s the law of attraction you are what you think so make sure you think all the good thoughts about yourself and no matter how low or high your thoughts are about yourself always strive for better feeling ones because in my opinion we should all stop being greedy with food and start being greedy with feeling good emotions .
Feeling confident with yourself is so important. I used to be so uncomfortable with the thought of it as I just didn’t seem who I truly was and it was a disservice to myself and others because it meant I never became the best version of myself. Confidence to me isn’t walking into a room and feeling better than anyone else. Confidence to me is just a feeling of freeness to be your true self and just live in acceptance of others and more importantly yourself, truly being who you are. I remember being in the gym one day struggling on my last few reps of burpees and Ed Sheeran and Stomzy ‘Shape of you’ started playing. It was literally music to my ears and at this point I was still quite low on confidence but for some reason I just started to laugh and pretend they were singing it to me. The buzz this gave me made me feel so good about myself, it even became a little personal joke. Anytime it came on the radio I’d get a confidence boost because the more I listened the more I envisaged them singing it to me - if you haven’t heard the lyrics it’s basically “I’m in love with the shape of you” so it just brought confidence and hope to me. Still to this day anytime I felt a little low and like giving up I listen to this song and it will just snap me out of it and bring back my motivation and just as an extra little bonus I even learned all the words, including Stormzys rap, which I still show off now and one of my best achievements.
Surrounding yourself with positive good influences it’s a massive help. I know when you’re not feeling your best self it can be challenging to be with people who are succeeding in something you want so much, sometimes it can make you feel like you’re never going to be like them and brings out your insecurities. But please, let me promise you this that is just your alter ego talking. These people will be the best teachers for you if you let them. Don’t be afraid that you won’t match up, get excited by how much of what they have learned can be passed to you. I became obsessed with talking to people who were on a much higher level of fitness than me. Talking and trying all the little bits and bobs they had learned on the way then using this newfound knowledge to benefit me . The people that I’m referring to don’t even have to be people you know. I loved, and still continue, to watch fitness Girls on YouTube and honestly I would get so much out of it . Try and not talk to people about it if they are in the same or worse mind-set than you, it’s not motivational at all! I stopped saying to anyone I was interacting with that I was on a diet or watching what I eat or losing weight for this holiday. I decided that I don’t actually need to mention these things anymore as I’m just going to live a healthy lifestyle with no rules. Cutting these things out of my vocabulary helped because when I was talking to someone who wasn’t necessarily on the fitness/health bandwagon (which does not make them any less of a person , I needed pure motivation at this point) it wouldn’t create a negative conversation about my change of lifestyle .
....A few things that I know have helped massively in the changing of my mind-set....
Having a goal but being happy with where you are now -
In life you only really truly have this moment the past has gone and who has a clue what the future holds. I used to always say “I’ll be happy once I look like this” or “I’ll start this new diet Monday” the excuse list could definitely go on . Once I stopped making excuses (because no matter what, there is always going to be an easy one to make to stop you from hitting your goals ) and started just being happy with who I was in the moment the ball started rolling so much quicker because whether it was the Holly that was 3 stone heavier than the Holly now or the Holly that just cried because she let someone else make her feel insecure or the Holly that was sick on her first run or the Holly that completed the ‘nuclear race’ and felt like a complete warrior or the Holly that decided to turn vegan or the Holly that felt so confident for the first time ever. Each moment in time was still me and still all as equally as special and important as each other as they lead to me becoming who I am in this moment. each part was either a lesson I was growing from or a moment I was just loving from. I feel like it’s the rollercoaster of life, you have ups and downs but if you know in each moment to make the most and do your best with what you’ve got and enjoy the process your goals will become much clearer and easier to reach. The point I’m trying to make is, why wait for tomorrow to come before you take action on your goals your excuses will always be there but you why not ignore them and chose to live a life you actually want to live . If you make small little changes in each of your present moments you’ll look back one day and be so full of good emotions and shocked how easy it actually all is when you like Nike, ‘just do it’.
What’s your why’s -
At the beginning I definitely think my willpower was the kick start in me creating new habits, routines and making good healthy choices for myself (especially when I wasn’t seeing results - for motivation). However, I don’t think willpower necessarily can last for a lifetime, which is what I want my healthy lifestyle to do. One thing that has kept me and still keeps me going is my whys . Why am I doing this? What’s it all for? I remind myself of why I’m doing it most days and write and read them religiously . These are reasons that fill me with excitement for life making me just want to be the fittest and healthiest I can be .
My personal favourite whys are :
1- I appreciate being a human and having a body does all it needs to keep me alive e.g. when I’m being my clumsy self and somehow accidently cut myself, my little blood cells run to the rescue and make my blood thicker so I don’t bleed to death . So I feel like I should feed it with all the best stuff I possibly can – Thank you blood cells.
2- I like to live and energetic lifestyle and good food and nutrition equals good energy . I don’t think I could live the life I live if I wasn’t as healthy.
3- Being happy and at peace is my most valued lesson in life. I aim for it always, to do this I like to try my best and challenge myself which is exactly what I do with my workouts, the feeling after is just incredible and makes me feel like I’ve achieved something every morning. I love having that focus and drive, it gives me something to wake up for.
4- I do it for me. I feel like not many people understand me when I say this but having a good relationship with yourself if so important and going to the gym, for me, builds on that as it’s my “me” time, a time to switch off from everything else and just do my own thing.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle should never be a negative experience for anyone. However, I feel that’s all people ever say. At the beginning of this journey, and even way before starting, I would constantly moan and feel sorry for myself. What I have come to realise is, 1- if I had just used my energy I was using to moan on taking action things could have been a lot easier and 2 - looking after yourself is the best feeling ever, feeling good from within just has magical benefits that I never would of realised if I didn’t push past the resistance. This should be a fun experience for you . You’re bettering yourself so no matter what it takes from you just remember what’s being added is so much better . There are so many diets and workout routines to follow on the internet which is great but I personally just think with me from the start what I have chosen to do is just let my diet and workouts evolve with me. At the beginning I wouldn’t have been able to do the workouts I do now and in a year I’m sure I’ll be doing things I can’t do in this moment. My advice would be just try everything, stick to the exercises you like, always try and better yourself and know that if you try your best that’s all you can do. Don’t compare yourself to others because you aren’t them and they aren’t you. Just do what you can in the moment that you’re in and always aim to grow and learn . Live free and fearless and make changes that will only enhance you has a person Chuck the negative thoughts and behaviours in what I like to call “the fu*k it bucket” (sorry mum) and enjoy your life cause we only regret the things we don’t do.
if you’ve stuck it to the end well done your already one step closer to reaching them goals I know it was a long one haha
lots of love